We always hear this each time we go to the supermarket, but really it’s not hard to understand why bringing your own fabric bag is the best way to go and probably the easiest “green thing to do”.

It is a highly debatable subject, the sun would take many many many years to photodegrade a plastic bag, that is, turning it into microscopic granules, and of course plastic comes from fossil fuels which are non renewable. Paper on the other hand, is renewable, biodegradable and recyclable, but the process to make a paper bag often carries a lot of carbon footprint, depending if the trees are reforested, if chemicals are being used, if the water is being reused, how far are they being made and transported, etc.. Here are some facts I found

Impact of plastic bags:

•    take over 400 years to biodegrade and result in a large amount of rubbish in our landfills
•    Air pollution is caused during incineration
•    Manufacturers add many tons of carbon and other toxic chemicals into the atmosphere annually
•    Approximately 60-100 million barrels of oil are required for annual manufacturing
•    Stray bags pollute much of our environment and cause 100000 marine organisms death each year
•    Small particles given off during breakdown accumulate in ecosystems and contaminate the food web

Impacts of paper bags:

•    Use four times as much energy as plastic bags to produce
•    Many toxic chemicals are used in the production, contributing significantly to air pollution
•    The impact production on forests is enormous as millions of trees are cut down for production
•    Consumes 9 times as much energy to recycle compared to a plastic one
•    Due to the lack of water, light and oxygen in today’s landfill, paper does not degrade at a faster rate than plastic yet takes up much more space

We could go on and on about it, some paper bags may be better than some plastic bags and viceversa, so that’s why I chose to use fabric bags!!

If you aren’t doing something for the environment yet, this is a very easy way to start. I always have canvas bags in the trunk of my car, that way you can never forget them. Before you know, it will become a natural habit to bring your own bags with you. If you are not the one that makes the groceries, it’s even easier to remind the person that does to use canvas bags. Not only it’s better for the planet, but they are a million times more efficient than plastic or paper, they can hold a lot more groceries and are very resistant. And the best thing about it is that your kids will follow your example in the future.

pd. It also makes you feel a little better about yourself each time you go to the supermarket!


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